NBA totals betting is one of the more common ways to wager on professional basketball. In this market, every possession matters, as each play can have an impact on how a game finishes relative to the total. In this guide to NBA over/under betting, find out how this market works and what it consists of before placing your next round of NBA wagers.
What is NBA Totals Betting?
In NBA totals betting, bookmakers set a total number of points for an NBA game. That total represents the combined score of both teams for the duration of the game in most cases. Bettors can then decide to bet on the actual combined score of the game being over or under that amount.
As an example of an NBA over/under bet, let’s say that the Boston Celtics are playing the Los Angeles Lakers with a total of 225.5 for the game. If both teams combined for 225 or fewer points, the under would be the winning bet in that case. And if the total combined score was 226 points or higher, the over would be the winner.
There are several variants of the over/under market that can be wagered on as well. For example, bettors can wager on the total for just one team or the other. They can also bet on the total for an individual half or quarter in addition to the full game.
How to Place an NBA Over/Under Bet
To place a bet on the NBA totals market, bettors can go to the NBA section of their preferred sportsbook. From there, they can select which game they want to wager on and look at the total for that game. They can then choose which side of the over/under they want to bet, enter the amount they wish to risk, and finalize their wager.
Pros and Cons of NBA Totals Betting
The biggest positive of NBA totals betting is the fact that it rewards bettors who have an in-depth understanding of how each team approaches the game of basketball. Teams around the league have a diverse array of tempos with which they play. Bettors who understand how those varied paces of play can impact how much scoring happens have a great chance to turn a profit in this market.
Bettors who understand on-court matchups are also in an advantageous position when betting on NBA totals. Different teams have players who are better against players of different sizes and skill levels, and some players are better or worse against different defensive game plans. The totals market is all about understanding how those matchups manifest themselves on the court from a scoring perspective.
The one negative to this market is that bettors are often fighting human nature when betting on the total. Most of the time, bettors are inclined to bet the over, given how good the offensive basketball is in the NBA. But bettors need to pick their spots to have success when taking on the total, as unders are just as common as overs.